“What do you do for fun?”

Lately I’ve been in social situations where I’ve been asked, for some reason or another, what I do for fun.

When you only hang out with people who know you well, you don’t get asked that. It’s really convenient. I prefer it.

It was the worst when the new-therapist-I-tried asked me that. I of course spilled my guts about a bunch of serious stuff, but then she stops me and is like, “What do you do for fun?”

Can’t she have asked me what’s my worst childhood memory instead? That’d be so much easier!

An easy one to say is “oh, I’m a writer…” but that’s only partially true. Am I truly writing when I have free time and I’m bored? No, I’m usually just writing because I need to spill my guts out and I’ve already exhausted all my friend-resources. That’s hardly a hobby; it’s taking a shower with an audience.

I usually say “Oh, and I bowl!” as a second hobby. But that’s hardly a hobby too. I bowl once a week for my league; it’s organized.

One time a few months ago my therapist said to me, “I think suicide is your hobby.”

You should have SEEN how pissed that made me. Here I am, I thought, suffering with mental illness, and my therapist is chalking it up to just being bored.

I still don’t think suicide is a hobby but I WILL admit she’s getting somewhere. It DID occupy many of my hours of the last decade. And now that my new med is taking suicide off the table for me in a new way, I kind of don’t know what to do with myself sometimes.

I can go get a beer with a friend, be social, but how often can you do that before it becomes too much of a routine to rely on drinking to occupy your time?

Let’s face it. I need a hobby.

I know a ton of stuff I want to work on, like self improvement stuff. There are all these things I wish I did more of, like read, for example. When was the last time I read a novel cover to cover? Jesus, what kind of English major am I???

Here are a few things I could do instead of nothing:

  • read
  • come up with a list of movies and watch them (I just got my very first Netflix account!)
  • cultivate my spotify playlist
  • learn how to take care of my truck
  • practice karaoke songs
  • watch videos teaching me how to do things
  • plan surprises for people I love
  • write letters to my grandpa

I think that’s a good list. It’s almost like I need a second wind like every hour though. It’s really nice to not default to the Depression Chamber every single evening but that doesn’t mean I’m motivated to do things.

Is there a movie I should see? Let’s start with that one. Hmu. (You could even leave a comment below–what??)

Photo Credit

 

Advertisements

24 goals

I’ve been trying a tiny bit to explore the WordPress community. I LOVE when people “like” my posts or comment or interact with my work in some way, but I have previously never returned the favor. I want to get better about that.

In my scratching of the WordPress surface, I’ve found this blog that has New Year’s Resolutions that are actually small goals for each month, all laid out already. Now she’s going to record her progress for each goal as the year goes along. I think that’s pretty rad, and it allows for smaller but still important experiments to happen.

As we know, I’ve already made my big New Year’s Resolutions post, but in addition to these goals, I kinda want to follow whiskywolfcub’s lead and try some smaller goals each month too.

Oh, writing these made me realize that these might sound like really boring goals, or not very adventurous, or something. But I’ve been working on this post for two weeks (I often write blog posts in one sitting and publish them right away) trying to think of goals that are important to me, even if it just means they are chores that I’ve put off for a long time. When they get deadlines, suddenly they have some power potential. ALSO I don’t want to say a goal I don’t actually care about, even if it would be good for me. For example, a goal like “drink 8 glasses of water every day this month :)” is cute and stuff but first of all, I’ll never do that, and second of all, I really don’t care about my water intake. Not a thing I think about. Anyway:

JANUARY

  • Schedule an appointment with at least one new therapist. Sometimes therapists’s calendars are full, so I don’t want to guarantee that I will see someone new before the end of the month, but I want to prioritize this process. (I crossed this off already because in the process of writing this post, I’ve completed this task. woo!)
  • Kick off a new writing project. I haven’t written a poem in a while. I think it’s time to end this break and get going again.

FEBRUARY

  • Do something for Aidan. February 20th is my friend Aidan’s anniversary of his passing and I happen to have the day off from work for President’s Day (??). I think that’s a good opportunity to try and volunteer or at least write about him. Something like that. I usually fall apart in February, so I want to intentionally do something healthy and hopefully productive in his honor.
  • Express daily gratitude in some way. I want to do something like make a FB post or write a blog or send a grateful message to someone every single day in February. It’s the shortest month of the year, so I think I can manage. Again, this is a goal that will help me get through what is normally a very difficult month for me.

MARCH

  • Do my taxes if I haven’t already. No waiting until April 14 bullshit.
  • Cook dinner for someone else. It’d be great if I picked someone other than my gf just because it will be more out of my comfort zone. I hope this goal will help encourage me to make this cooking thing not just a phase but a habit.

APRIL

  • Attend one writing group session. There’s a writing group in my town that meets every Saturday at like 9am or something, and it seems very chill and very cool, but I never make time for it. I want to at least check it out. I picked a month with five Saturdays just in case 😉 .
  • Wash my truck. This sounds kinda funny but I always put off washing my vehicles, and after a winter and spring of grossness, I’ll definitely need it by the end of April. This truck is like my favorite possession so I should probs take care of it. If I’m feeling ambitious maybe I’ll even get it detailed.

MAY

  • Change my name with Social Security if I haven’t already. Talk about problematic procrastination! My name is legally changed and it’s changed with the bank and everywhere important… except with the Social Security office. It’s only really been an issue once and it worked out fine, but it’s still something I need to do. It involves a few hours of my time on a business day, but maybe planning ahead will actually make it happen.
  • Get my eyes checked. I could probably use an updated prescription by this point. I already sense some changes in my vision, but it’s not a huge deal right now. I have good insurance for eye stuff so it will be worth the time.

JUNE

  • Go to the dentist. You might be like, ew, why do you have to schedule this out so far, what the hell. That’s fair. But I haven’t been to the dentist in like 5 years and I really really don’t want to go but this will help motivate me to put a deadline on this.
  • Sing karaoke again. I’ve been thinking about a couple of songs. I might go country. I know you didn’t know this (it’s not your fault) but I’m actually Keith Urban in disguise.

JULY

  • Go somewhere new. This can be a vacation or just going to a new restaurant. I want to keep this open. But I tend to even stick with the same restaurants once I like something. I like new things too ok! I just don’t prioritize them.
  • Try canoeing or kayaking or something. I’m not much for swimming because wearing a swim suit when you have boobs but don’t want them is complicated. Maybe by July I won’t even have boobs, who knows, but I think kayaking or some other water activity like this can be pretty dry but still really fun.

AUGUST

  • Go see a show. I want to keep this open. Is it a play? Is it a concert? Is it a jazz trio in a quiet club? Don’t care. Go see a show.
  • Treat myself? I am thinking like creating an amazon wishlist or something and choosing an item I never prioritize but am pretty interested in. For example, I’d really like one of those wireless bluetooth fancy speakers so I can sing in the shower more effectively. But when I’m out and about, I never think to get one or care enough to drop the cash on it. This goal only makes sense if I’m responsible with my money in 2017, which I plan to be (don’t we all). It also only makes sense if I do/buy this thing with some intentionality. So like if I just buy something I want, that doesn’t count. What GIFT am I gonna give myself?

SEPTEMBER

  • Find an open mic and read a poem at it. I’m gonna h8 myself later for this.
  • Successfully move or successfully stay. At this point, my apartment lease will be up and I’ll have to decide where I’m living. This might seem like a cheater goal but moving can be really fucking stressful and I want to be sure I don’t sign up for too much. I want to take care of myself in this process! (I guess).

OCTOBER

  • Watch 7 youtube videos that will teach me something. I know of YouTube (lol), but I don’t spend like any time on it at all (the only thing I use it for is to practice karaoke). It seems like a resource I should consider. It’d be great to watch a bunch of videos teaching me how to change a tire or do car things or like, do something crafty. This would be fun to blog about too, like I can list what videos I watched and if I found them useful.
  • Spend time with a dog. This should be all 24 of my goals. October has historically been a challenging month for me, and even if I’m feeling wonderful in October 2017, I think going out of my way and seeking out a dog is extremely legit. This can be my parents’ dog too–I don’t think that’s cheating, since she’s like, the best dog of all dogs.

NOVEMBER

  • Host a Friendsgiving of some kind. Maybe make it a pot luck so I don’t have to feel scared of cooking for a bunch of people by myself.
  • Make a list of movies I want to see and maybe even fire up a Netflix account. I think a lot of people in my life want to watch fewer movies/tv shows because they have so much screen time. But I’m completely movie illiterate, and it’s not for hipster I’m-too-cool-for-movies thing; it really just means I miss out on a bunch of pop culture stuff. Also, another thought behind this: as it gets colder and winterier and sadder I want to have a little indoor project.

DECEMBER

  • Write a Christmas letter. For a few years I wrote my family’s Christmas letter and I loved it. It was so fun to do a recap of the year and touch base with people I don’t talk to all the time. I regretted not writing one this year. This letter task also includes collecting addresses to mail them 🙂
  • Read a book. LOL. So you’re probably like, hey, don’t you read already? No. And chances are, I’ll make it for the entirety of 2017 without reading a single book. So I want to put this in here–I want to read a book. I can spend 11 months deciding which one if I want. But by the end of December, I want to be one book more well-read.

That’s all! If you want, you can copy me (or copy the WordPress user I copied). I have a few friends that are starting blogging a bit and this might be a good way to stay focused/consistent. 🙂

Photo Credit

Can my proudest moment be bowling-related?

You remember me last week. I was in a state of total self-loathing, living under a lens that it would be my last few days alive. It sounds dramatic, of course, but when you’re in that mindset it is impossible to imagine anything else.

My birthday was yesterday. I’ve since recovered from this depressive episode, but I didn’t have super high expectations for my birthday itself–like, I know people care and would text me and write on my FB wall and stuff. But I don’t think 24 is that amazing of an age. You don’t get any more rites of passage at that age or anything. It’s just older than 23, thank god.

Well it was just another Wednesday–I had bowling league after work. I took the following day off work in case I wanted to drink a little more than usual. But what happened at bowling was beautiful.

I feel kinda silly writing about this because it’s BOWLING for god’s sake but it was so great, and this is my blog so fuck it.

Every league night, the teams bowl 3 games. Last week, I bowled like hell (presumably because I was so mentally unwell), and then the first two games last night were 1 and 13 points above my 136 average, ok. That’s pretty good. Generally in league it’s good to at least shoot for your average, so really I should have been content with a 136, but I got 137 and 149. Pretty sweet. I was feeling good.

THEN the third game, I only left one frame open the whole game (leaving a frame open means not getting a strike or spare). I was bowling well but I didn’t really notice at first. I got a couple of spares in a row and I was like *shrug* that’s cool but pretty normal. Then I got a turkey (three strikes in a row). Then I continued to kick ass after that. By the 7th frame I looked at my girlfriend/team mate and I was like, “omg, I’m gonna beat my best.” My former best score was 182, and it felt VERY difficult to achieve. I’m not that terrific of a bowler but if I get over 155 or so I’m a very happy man.

Last night I was kicking so much ass in the 3rd and final game on my birthday. One of my bowling friends on another team was gonna leave for the night and I actually asked her to stay in case I continued my swell streak. She was kind enough to comply, and I didn’t disappoint.

In the 10th frame, I bowled a 9 on my first throw, then picked up the spare. I had one throw left as my ‘bonus ball.’ This is usually the time I bowl like a 6 or something, not that great, since I let the pressure get to me. People were kind of clustered behind my lane, watching. I bowled. I got a STRIKE and oh my god y’all, I felt tremendous.

Behind me, people I knew and loved and people I had never talked to before were ROARING and cheering and I felt so amazing. I ended the game with a 209, the best score I’ve ever bowled in my life. They announced my score on the intercom at the bowling alley. My 209 was 73 (!!) points above average! Hella cool.

I’ve done a few cool things in my life, I’ve accomplished writing goals and done scary things that were hard to overcome. I’ve survived my own depression many times over and I’ve climbed ladders and gotten jobs and made a difference. But for some reason, that bowling night just felt so monumental. I felt like a king.

I think it’s because, at the beginning of the night, I was like, IT’S MY BIRTHDAY THIS IS MY NIGHT and I was kind of kidding but then because I loved myself again this week, it was actually pretty legit.

Thanks for reading.

Photo Credit